National coach Pullela Gopichand expressed satisfaction after Pusarla Venkata Sindhu's superb show ensured India a bronze medal at the World Championships in Guangzhou on Friday but at the same time reminded that Saina Nehwal would make a comeback despite her quarterfinal loss. (All the highlights from Friday's action)
"It is good to have a win after two losses," Gopichand said after Sindhu notched up a 21-18 21-17 win over world No 8 Shixian Wang in a 55-minute women's singles quarterfinal match.
"She (Sindhu) is a good player but she can improve further. She is a quick learner and I hope she will do well tomorrow," Gopichand told PTI.
"It was a tough match. It went neck and neck and there wasn't much to choose. There was not more than 2-3 points of difference. Sindhu was leading all the time. But it was just by a slender margin. The rallies was pretty long and Sindhu was able to attack when needed. So overall it was a good show," analysed Gopichand.
The former All England champion feels that Sindhu can certainly improve further.
Sindhu's bronze medal feat on her maiden appearance after twin defeats of her senior compatriots Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap.
Asked about Saina, Gopichand said: "Saina was actually not well. She had an upset stomach. She got drained out. She was playing well in the first game but she got really drained, there was no energy left after the first game. I don't think it dented her confidence but physically she could not compete in the second game," Gopichand said.
Questioned whether Saina's career is on a downward spiral, Gopi begged to differ.
"But Saina is just 23 years old. I don't see there is any problem with her. She is a great player, a class player and I am sure she will come good in the next World Championship." The former All England champion, however, was impressed with Kashyap's performance and said he will surely come good in future.
"I am happy with Kashyap. He almost won the match. It was extremely unfortunate that he lost the match from that stage. But the way he played, I think he was very good and I am extremly happy. It was a close match. It is a good experience for him and I am sure he will come back strong in the next edition," he said.
Sindhu, who will next take on Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, said:"I am very happy with my game as everything went well. I will work hard for tomorrow match."
Kashyap on his part said,"It was the tough match. I have tried my level best but could not convert in to the victory. But in future I will perform well."
Sindhu said she did not have any special strategy against the Chinese players and only relied on the tips given to her by coach Gopichand.
"I don't have any special tactic against Chinese players -- my coach has just given me tips and I've used that in my game," Sindhu said after the match.
Shixian Wang, meanwhile, said Sindhu used her height to her greatest advantage.
"Her (Sindhu's) physical condition is very good, her long legs and arms -- it was very difficult to deal with," a visibly dejected Wang, said.